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Code of conduct

Local councillors have to abide by a code of conduct.

Code of Conduct 

The Localism Act 2011 places a general obligation on councils (including town and parish) to "promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members and co-opted members of the authority" and to "adopt a code dealing with the conduct that is expected of members and co-opted members of the authority when they are acting in that capacity".

The first part of the code sets out the behaviours and characteristics required of councillors. It is important to appreciate that the code applies when a councillor or co-opted member is acting in that role, and that it is their responsibility to comply with its provisions.

The second part relates to registering and declaring interests.

The Localism Act 2011 provides for dealing with a failure to comply with the code, but makes it clear that a decision is not invalidated because "something that occurred in the process of making the decision involved a failure to comply with the code".

Complain about a councillor

We have in place arrangements for the handling of complaints which allege that a member or co-opted member of the council, or of a parish council in the district, has failed to comply with their authority's code of conduct.

A Standards Committee considers:

  • general matters relevant to member standards
  • conducts any hearings which take place where an alleged breach of the code has been the subject of an investigation which concludes that there was a failure to comply.

Members of the Council, and parish clerks will, as appropriate, be advised of matters considered by the Standards Committee, and the papers for the Committee will be available on the Council's website.

What this means to you

If you want to complain about the conduct of a member of Cherwell District Council or a member of a parish or town council in the district, you must submit your complaint to the Monitoring Officer.

The Monitoring Officer can only consider complaints about the behaviour of a member. It will not deal with complaints about things that are not covered by the members' code of conduct, such as complaints about council services. If you make a complaint to the Monitoring Officer it must be about why you think a member has not followed the code of conduct.

Complaints can only be accepted in writing. Please complete the complaints form under downloads (right) and return to:

The Monitoring Officer
Cherwell District Council
Bodicote House Bodicote
OX15 4AA


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